RE Thunderbird 500, Classic 500 BSVI launch may not be on the cards according to an online report. 350s will be updated to upcoming emission norms…
While a lot of motorcycles will be ditched in the coming few months, ahead of the Bharat Stage VI deadline, this is not something we expected to read! An online report at Livemint claims that Royal Enfield may discontinue its 500cc motorcycle lineup from the market completely!
The very stringent Bharat Stage VI emission norms will get enforced from April 2020 onwards and makers will not then be legally allowed to produce Bharat Stage IV compliant two-wheelers for the domestic market (yes we are leapfrogging). There is a big cost involved in this upgrade and it will be higher (and difficult) for makers who rely solely on retro-classic motorcycles which generally do not come with the latest of technologies.
The reason according to the report is the very high cost this transition will entail for the 500cc engine vis-a-vis its low sales. Currently, Royal Enfield sells motorcycles of 350cc, 410cc, 500cc which are all single cylinder and the 650cc versions which come with dual cylinder configuration.
Surprisingly, sales of the costlier 650cc motorcycles are higher for the brand and since it is the latest in the range, it will be less cumbersome to upgrade. The 350cc range, which is the bread and butter for the brand will obviously be upgraded with the upcoming emission norms. Apart from the domestic market, the 500s are not doing well in the export markets as well according to the report.
Royal Enfield declined to directly comment on this development and said that they will announce their Bharat Stage VI products in a timely manner. Currently, Royal Enfield sells as many as five 500cc motorcycles which include – Thunderbird 500, X500, Classic 500, Trials 500 and Bullet 500. If this report goes true all of these listed versions are breathing their last…
Source – Livemint